My friend and neighbor, Kristen, is now a yoga instructor and needed a head shot for the Yes 2 Yoga website. Glad she asked me to help her out! We talked about doing the shoot outside of an old barn, but ultimately decided on using the yoga studio. I love the fresh color on the walls of the studio and the windows are a plus.
Kristen asked what color she should wear. I suggested pink…. it’s across from green on the color wheel.
I started out by having Kristen sit on a stool I brought with me. I positioned her at least 10 feet from the wall remembering what I learned from a recent one-on-one session with professional photographer and videographer Bart Baldwin of Bart Baldwin Visual Arts. Move your subject away from the wall to get a nice blurred background.
The windows were directly in front of my subject. I was using a 100mm lens with camera settings of f/4.0, 1/125 sec., and ISO 200. I had a Stofen Omni-Bounce on my Canon 430EX II Speedlite, it was mounted on a flash bracket, and was pointed straight up to the ceiling.
So….the baseboard in the background. Yea or Nay? I’m still undecided.
I noticed the shadow under Kristen’s chin and again remembered what I learned from Bart. If I switch to a longer lens, I can step further back, zoom in, and the angle of incidence (the angle of the light hitting a surface) will change. That is, the angle at which the light from the flash is hitting Kristen will change. The light will fill in the shadowed area.
I changed out my lens to a 70-200mm and moved back. The two photos below were taken with Kristen standing, again away from the wall. Camera settings remained the same, however I realize now I needed to compensate for the change in distance from the subject. I was shooting at a focal length of 200mm. The images were underexposed. Fortunately, I was able to correct them in post. I should have done 1 of 3 things:
- Increased the ISO to let in more light
- Added flash exposure compensation to add more light
- Used a slower shutter speed to let in more ambient light
I could have also taken a few steps closer to Kristen and shot at a shorter focal length than 200mm.
I also noticed by looking at the LCD screen on the back of my camera that Kristen’s mouth is soft in the image on the right. An f-stop higher that 4.0 would better guarantee all facial features to be in focus at a 200mm focal length. That’s when I decided to change my camera settings. I went to f/6.3, 1/80 sec., and ISO 400. This still produced an image that was a bit underexposed, but all facial features are in focus. I also caught a natural smile as we talked.
Now if I can just get those yoga moves mastered, I’ll be all set.